Monday, March 29, 2010

6 Billion Dollars a Year – wow.


I knew that art theft was a big business, but I didn’t know that it was that big. According to Christopher A. Marinello, the general counsel and worldwide recoveries manager of the Art Loss Register, art theft is a six-billion dollar a year industry.

You can read about some famous cases of art theft here - “”.

Fortunately, at least in this story, two New York art dealers where lucky. . .

What I find amazing is that the majority of this stolen art, must be, just by the nature of art itself, in private collections somewhere around the world (more likely than not in the collections of some rather nefarious and very wealthy people) or stashed away in some  clandestine wear house or hiding place. It’s a sad thought tightly wrapped in a package of greed and arrogance. . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Because it's Friday. . .

It's Friday and I have started the day with some more Photoshop surreal imagery to kick of the weekend. Enjoy. . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Amazingly, these tulips, which I bought last Friday have hardly faded at all. Hmm. . .
Sent from my BlackBerry

Watch your step. . .

Simply because I was in the mood to have some fun on Photoshop this morning. . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last Supper – SUPER Sized

I found this intriguing article from the LA Times about how the portions of food depicted in artistic renderings of the last supper over the last 1,000 years have grown tremendously. . .,0,7531075.story

The story made me wonder just how many renditions of the last supper were out there in the world and I made a rather surprising discovery - when you place the words "last supper" in Google's image search, you get 1,170,000 results (over 3 million if you omit the quotation marks). This resulted in a "huh, who knew?" moment for me. While a large percentage of the results are of DaVinci's uber-famous version, there are many that are offer a wide, unique, and wonderfully creative variation on his theme so to speak and several that offer a completely different view altogether.

Once I gave it a bit of thought, it made perfect sense that there would be so many different versions created over the millennium. The artistic interpretation of events based upon stories (particularly those steeped in religious or spiritual themes) have served as fodder for the visually creative amongst us for as long as such tomes have been in existence.

Here is just a small sampling of what's out there which I found of particular interest. . .


Battle Star Galactica


Alix Beaujour


Star Wars by Eric Deschamps


Popeye’s Last Supper by ATLbladerunner


The Lego Last Supper


Simon Ushakov circa 1645

I could on and on. . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go wear or drink something green!


I have quite a bit of Irish blood in my veins making St. Patrick’s day quite a day of celebration, cultural, and national pride. So happy Lá Fhéile Pádraig all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Help keep art in NJ public schools!

A very dear friend of mine and a brilliant art teacher, Karen Kiick, sent me out an email over the weekend of utmost importance regarding future of public education in New Jersey.

When I state that Karen is a brilliant art teacher (as well as artist) I don't say that lightly. Karen was a 2009 HS Division Award recipient by The Art Educators of New Jersey. She was also the 2005-2006 Camden County Teacher of the Year and a 2006 Geraldine R. Dodge Teacher Fellowship recipient. In 2005, she received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education, was recognized as a Master Teacher by The Art Educators of New Jersey and received a Frederick L. Hipp Grant from The New Jersey Education Association. In 2000, she was awarded with a Geraldine R. Dodge Artist Initiative Grant. Karen speaks nationally on issues pertinent to the arts and public education.
Rather impressive eh?

I beseech of you to read the message and sign the digital petition by clicking on the link. As an artists and sometimes arts educator myself, I can't stress enough the importance of this. Also, in my opinion, whether you live in NJ or not is of no importance - please sign the petition. There is strength in numbers!

Here is the message:

Hello friends,
I am writing with a genuine concern for the future of public education in the state of New Jersey. Many of you, all connected to New Jersey in some way, even if only through me, can do your part.

Governor Christie is attempting to 'fix' the state's financial problems through massive cuts to education and other state funded organizations. State mandated cuts to my district alone could be over $3,800,000.00. While other New Jersey school districts may be affected to varying degrees, mine is being gutted.

Currently, to meet the governor's demands, the proposed cuts to Haddon Township High School, where I teach, are over $777,000.00. Twenty-five teachers in my district (8 in my HS) stand to lose their jobs and our high school art program will likely be reduced from 9 classes to 3. The 3D program that I spent the past 14 years creating will not exist.

Like most educators, I agree that a broken system needs to be fixed and that state budgets need to be balanced. However, our state government has not even engaged its teachers in a conversation that allows us to solve this problem in a way that does not hurt our children and our schools. Instead, we are being bulldozed and regarded as the enemy. Governor Christie is trying to sway public opinion against educators and convince the general public that teachers are the problem. His shock and awe strategies have all occurred alarmingly fast, and if allowed to proceed unchallenged, will destroy the quality programs we have worked so hard to create.

If you support public education and feel compelled to support it in New Jersey, please consider visiting the website below and signing a petition. This site also states facts and statistics about the success of New Jersey schools. As the petition says, "New Jersey's public schools are among the best in the nation. Reckless funding cuts will hurt our schools and our students' ability to learn. There are better ways to balance the budget. The last thing New Jersey should do is risk our quality public schools." Governor Christie makes his budget address on Tuesday, so please don't delay.

Thanks for your time and if you want, please share this request with your own mailing list.

If you'd like to read a short example of how our governor regards teachers, please read this article from a local, weekly magazine. The last few lines are the real zinger.

If you'd like to see some examples of what high school students create in my classes, please visit:

Pogo Mix.

I came across these online by chance and I'm so glad I did. They are the works of an Australian artist who goes by the name of Pogo and I think they are simply brilliant.

You can find much more by and about this artist at

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mind Games. . .


A dear friend of recently sent me an intriguing email with the title “Cool List!”. Within in I found a link to an article titled, “50 Things we know now that we didn't know this time last year”.

They list really did contain some fascinating items and I was glad to have read it, but one entry in particular really caused a double take. It was item number 12 which read “Scientists have discovered how to scan brain activity and convert what people are seeing or remembering into crude video images.”

“Hold on.”, I said aloud. “How did I miss that one last year?”

Immediately, Orwellian and unsettling imagery came into my head of glassy eyed, mouth gaping, drooling citizens hard-wired into sinister looking government controlled dream and thought recording machines (distressingly similar to something from Natalie Wood’s final film - “Brainstorm”).


But then, after I cast the reactionary and paranoid thoughts aside, I started to think more about the statement and the possible meaning of such a discovery – especially as an artist and visual communicator - as well as future uses.

First, some background information on the project from a very well written (at least in my non-neuroscientist based opinion) source

According to the article, this technology is easily in it’s infancy producing only fuzzy, low resolution imagery after a very controlled setting. Nevertheless, (and you can read the details in the article above) I find the whole concept fascinating on so many levels that I simply don’t have the time needed to cover them all this morning.

But I will leave you with this non-traditional concept – if neuroscientist have created programs that can crudely decipher pre-existing brain waves, and please pardon my layperson’s handling of this, meaning brainwaves that they did not create – only found and “tuned” into. Then, doesn't that at least theoretically open the door for the possible viability of such presently unexplained phenomena of psychic messaging, empathic ability, psychometry and much more?

Ultimately, we, and indeed everything that we can know, are nothing more than a seemingly never ending ocean of pulsating energy. If a computer can be created to reconstruct imagery after decoding a person’s brainwaves than why can’t the human brain – the greatest computer in the known universe, do the same thing?

Pardon the cliché, but it does make the mind wonder. . .

By the way, the link to the list that started it all is here -